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Deceptive advertising targets wedding photographers

I’m sharing with you my biggest advertising mistake. I own the mistake, I did not ask all the right questions, I did not fully understand the conditions of a review system, for advertising on an Australian wedding directory. I made this video to warn other photographers and wedding suppliers that this wedding directory will deliberately withhold conditions that inevitably compel you to work for them or suffer great impact on on the performance of your advertising investment.

The advertising Hook

Here’s how it works, brides can submit reviews about wedding suppliers to the directory. The wedding directory now forwards them to the supplier offering to publish it to a large amount of traffic. This sounds like a great but expensive opportunity, I looked on the directory and saw most business have two or three reviews. This seemed an even greater opportunity when I considered I have great reviews from dozens of brides, my ad would shine amongst these.

The Catch

They would not accept a single review on my service. They would only accept five reviews of different suppliers. If I wanted a review on my advertisement, they required four more reviews they could use to sell wedding directory listings. This means I have paid them and then found myself and my brides required to work four times harder promoting the wedding directory to wedding suppliers than promoting the ad I paid for.

After thought

The trickery and imbalance here was very discouraging and I did not want my brides working to build an address book for this directory. After two 5/5 reviews and some angry phone calls I just let it run. I looked at the analytics at the end of the contract and it turned out to be about eight times more expensive than cost per click for internet traffic. I booked some work through the directory but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, photographer or client.


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